Ideas to Disguise an Ugly Fence or Precast Wall
Fences or precast concrete walls don't always look pretty and there are plenty of ways to disguise both to complement your outdoor space.
Credit: Bob Stefko
Erecting a perimeter around your garden or property isn't always an item you can spend a lot of money on installing and these days even something as basic as precast concrete wall panels don't come cheap. But for those who have a fence or precast concrete wall around their garden and want to disguise or cover this up, here are some solutions to inspire you. Who knows... you might find exactly what you are looking for?
Discovering the technique of espalier, you could try your hand at training a fruit tree to grow flat against a brick or concrete wall. Not only will it eventually cover the area, but it will also provide a healthy harvest for you or your family.
Carefully select the right creepers or climbers, ones that don't take over once they become established. Ivy, for example, can quickly become a nuisance if left to grow unattended to.
1. Use Creeping or Climbing Plants
Placing a wire support structure on a fence or precast wall is one of the easiest ways to cover up the wall, especially if you stock up on fast-growing climbers or creepers. While you want them to grow as quickly as possible to disguise a wall or fence, do select ones that will not grow out of control. You ideally want a plant that can be pruned or trimmed easily to keep it looking good.
Scented climbers such as jasmine varieties are not only fast-growing, but they also bring a beautiful scent into the garden wherever they are planted. Regular pruning and trimming will keep the plant growing healthy and quickly fill up a wall.
An easy and inexpensive solution to disguising or increasing the height of a fence is to make up timber panels and wrap chicken wire around the frame. This makes the perfect growing frame for climbers and creepers to quickly fill up the blank space.
2. Use Wood Slats or Cover Strips
Hiding a wall or fence behind a slat fence is not quite as affordable as some of the other options shown on this page but it does add a modern or contemporary atmosphere to an outdoor space. Cover strips overall are 3mm in thickness and are available in a selection of hardwoods. These can be secured onto a timber frame and mounted in front of a wall or ugly fence. DO use hardwood or timber that is suitable for outdoors with little or no protection required.
Below Meranti cover strips on a timber frame do a good job of hiding a concrete wall that would otherwise be an eyesore.
When going to the effort of covering up an ugly fence, precast concrete, or brick wall, take the time to complete a project that does the job well and is an improvement!
3. A Living Wall
Growing a hedge to cover a fence or wall, or even to serve as a fence, takes patience and time. However, several fast-growing shrubs can be trained and trimmed as hedges. Plant varieties with thorns will prevent intruders from gaining easy access to your property. Keep in mind that a living wall will require plenty of ongoing maintenance to train it to grow and keep its shape.
If you are in a new development or in the process of building a house and considering planting a living hedge, consult with your neighbours as they might be willing to split the cost and maintenance.
Most bamboo varieties are fast-growing and, when planted in containers, will quickly reach a height and spread that will cover up an ugly fence, brick or concrete wall.
4. Use Vertical Gardens
Vertical gardens, both indoor and outdoor, have become an increasingly popular way to add interest to a blank wall and would work just as well if you want to hide a brick or precast concrete wall. Make a wooden frame using reclaimed scaffolding planks or rough timber and insert a wire framework on which you can hand assorted plants to cover the wall. A selection of hanging plants will soon help to fill up the space and provide an interesting feature to a garden.
Around the globe, architects and designers are incorporating living walls and vertical gardens as an integral part of designing properties, some using indigenous plants, particularly to a country or region and others using the space for sustainable gardens. When setting up a vertical garden anywhere, you need to pay attention to choosing the right plants for a location. Choose shade-loving plants for shady areas and vice-versa for sunny walls.
Credit: Marty Baldwin
Architects, town planners, and property developers are making use of the vertical garden method for growing plants and sustainable produce.